Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Weekly Drawing: week 22

Morning walks with Eileen Scollay

Childhood memory from the South Coast in the 1980's. Morning walks with Eileen Scollay, a great family friend and wonderful baby sitter.  If we were early enough the beach would be unmarked by foot prints. My sister and I had a game of trying to walk in Eileen's foot prints, to trick everyone into thinking they were the second person on the beach.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

weekly Drawing: week 21

Childhood memory of Rowville in the 1980's. Climbing over the farmers
fence with Grandpa to pick mushrooms for dinner. I was scared of the cows
so I stayed closer to the wheel burrow then my sister. 

A water colour painted while juggling my 10 month old daughter. I really like the looseness of this one, the medium captures the mood of the memory.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Weekly Drawing: week 20

While preparing for Christmas this year, I've had lots of fun drawing on wrapping paper and hand drawing Christmas cards. It's been great, I've drawn more then I expected. The only problem was I couldn't decide which drawing to upload for the Blog. So I've picked a couple of my favourites from this prolific week. 
Hand drawn Christmas card 2011
Scarfy the giraffey

Tap dancing octopus
Pirate Gran's dream Christmas, staying home and eating pizza
Vikings celebrating Zoe-mas.
Zoe-mas is an annual commemoration
of the birth of Zoe celebrated on December 23rd.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Weekly drawing 18: Seeger & Lead Belly

Seeger and Lead Belly

This drawing was inspired by reading To Everything There Is A Season: Pete Seeger and the power of song, a biography by Allan M. Winkler (Oxford University Press, 2009). Pete Seeger has amazing credentials: he spent time travelling with Woody Guthrie and they wrote 'Union Maid' together; he was friends with Allan Lomax, the great field collector of folk music; he even played with Lead Belly

I wanted illustrate a young Seeger, full of energy and enthusiaism, with the aging hard man who was finally free after a long life in and out of jail.

Allan M. Winkler writes:
Through Lomax, Seeger met Lead Belly. One day Lomax called Seeger and told him to grab his banjo. Off they went to another apartment on the Lower East side, this one inhabited by the fabled folk singer (...) Wearing overalls in an awkward effort to identify with the working class, Seeger at first had a hard time relating to the well dressed Lead Belly."There I was," he said, "trying my best to shed my Harvard upbringing, scorning to waste money on clothes other then blue jeans. But Lead Belly had on a clean shirt and starched collar, well-pressed suit, and shined shoes." Seeger nonetheless found himself fascinated by the man who "moved with the soft grace of an athlete. He had a powerful ringing voice, and his muscular hands moved like a dancer over the strings of his huge twelve-stringed guitar." As he watched him play, and played along with him, Seeger saw that Lead Belly "was not the cleverest guitar player; he didn't try and play the fanciest chords, the trickiest progressions, or the fastest number of notes... The notes he played were powerful and meaningful."

Friday, November 25, 2011

Weekly drawing 17

This illustration is inspired after reading Alan Moorehead's book 'Darwin and the Beagle' published by Hamish Hamilton 1969.

In 1831, Captain FitzRoy had given Darwin the opportunity to join the HMS Beagle. In hopes that a Clergyman-to-be and Naturalist might provide a valuable service substantiating the Bible. Finding evidences of the flood and the first appearance of all created things upon the earth.
Unfortunately for Captain FitzRoy, Darwin's research lead him to developing the theory of evolution and natural selection. All the evidence he gathered came to ahead in 1835 after the Galapagos islands. He noted the different forms of mocking-birds, tortoise and finches on the different islands. They were all different forms of the same spieces.
As they sailed away from the Galapagos in there narrow cabin I imagine this was science and religion facing off or as Alan Moorehead writes "putting forth their ideas with all the force of young men who passionately want to persuade one another and to get the absolute truth"

Special thanks to Anton Emdin for recommending the japanese waterbrush pen Pental pocket jet pen which I drew this sketch with. Anton gave a great talk at the Stanleys on digital and ink. Also congratulations Anton for winning the Australian Cartoonists Association‘s Bronze Stan Cross (“Stanley”) for Best Illustrator and the Gold Stanley for Cartoonist of the Year at the annual ACA Stanley Awards.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An amazing day: Ron Cobb, Stanley Awards conference & Mic Conway album launch

Ron Cobb speaking at the Stanley Awards conference
Last Friday I attended the first day of the Stanley Awards conference. It is hosted by the Australian Cartoonist Association and involves many great cartoonists in the industry.

I was extremely excited that Ron Cobb was speaking. As a child in the 80's I had read his books The Cobb Book and Cobb Again; collections of his political cartoons from the 1960's and 70's. So much of his work is still relevant today, and influenced my own political cartoons during the Howard years.

Highlight of the day:
Meeting Ron Cobb and discovering that Goya's disaster of war was a major influence on his cartoons.

What's ecology? Ron Cobb cartoon from 1967

New discovery of the day:
Leigh Hobbs' book Mr Chicken goes to Paris.
Children's book illustrators Leigh Hobbs, Cathy Wilcox, and Stephen Axelsen gave a talk about illustrating childrens books. I hadn't heard of Leigh Hobbs before but his talk was very amusing and his illustrations are hilarious.

Later that evening after a big day of talks, I saw Mic Conway launch his new CD Street of Dreams at The Vanguard in Newtown. I think I enjoy hearing him play these old-time tunes most out of all his material.

 Drawn on paper tablecloth while waching the show. Photo: Andrew Lorien

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Weekly Drawing: week 15

I recycle to work everyday
Our new recycling bin sign

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Weekly Drawing: Week 15

Out on the Savannah, protecting the young.
This drawing was inspired by crawling around the lounge room with 8 month old daughter.

I started the weekly drawing goal to give myself a regular deadline to sketch funny ideas down and make sure all my time didn't go on housework. I was motivated to work out a way to draw and create regularly without it taking too much time away from my young family. I wanted to do art but I also wanted to be a great parent and husband. I've been reading a book about other parents who have grappled with this challenge: The divided heart: Art and Motherhood by Rachel Power.

 Here's a quote that really spoke to me. It's from Rachel's interview with children's authors and illustrators Martine Murray and Sally Rippin. Sally quotes a fellow parent and author, Chester Eagle:
"It sounds impossible but, after all, even the most hard-pressed parent usually manages to brush teeth, iron the odd garment, make a bed or remember to buy tomatoes, so why not write as well? I mean it. Why not?
 I'm fairly savage on this matter. If one wants to, one will. If one isn't organised enough to do it, one isn't a writer, only a would-be writer and the world's full of them. Build your life around what must be done and let other things go, or drift, but write the book... (...)
I sound ruthless about this because I am. If it matters, it'll get done. If it doesn't get done, it didn't matter enough." which point Rachel reflects:
"At the time I found myself arcing up at these words. Perhaps I wasn't yet ready for the cold, hard reality of what lay ahead of me. I was looking for the secret to maintaining a creative life - but not one that involved waking in the middle of the night (more than I already had to) or letting the house go to pot...."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Building with pallets

An island bench I built from two wooden goods pallets.
 Salvaged from work before they were sent to landfill.
How to build an island bench using pallets
From two matching pallets cut 800mm x 625mm out of
each one. These will form the two sides of the bench. From
the remaining timber slats cut 21 pieces of timber, each
540mm in length. These will be used for the shelves and bench top.
Nail and glue the slats in place. Sand with rough sand paper. Oil timber
(we used plain old olive oil) and finally seal with beeswax.

Here's one we prepared earlier...

I had two more pallets,
so I made a light weight work bench for our backyard shed.
Take that landfill!!!! We win again. :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

weekly Drawing: week 14

Navigating the hallway
Drawing based on a sketch (Petit b√Ęteau en bois) of a wooden toy boat that we saw in France.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Weekly Drawing: week 13

Inspired by my wife's hand drawn "No Junk Mail" sign on our last house. I have 
played around with drawing a "No Junk Mail" sign for our new house. I couldn't 
decide which one I preferred. So I have posted two drawings this week.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Weekly Drawing: week 12

Personal book plate design. Some books should be kept forever.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Weekly Drawing: week 10

What I love about the rain

The dirty city is finally washed like a reluctant child avoiding bath time. 
The plants quench their thirst, while the people run for shelter. 
The gushing slushing streets roll and flow like forgotten creeks.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

One of my dream jobs would be to design Lego models...

Last night I had lots of fun building my new Lego Lighthouse. As I filled out the online product survey I realised one of my dream jobs would be to design Lego models...

Four designs I would make:

  1. Captain Kidd on the Adventure, his privateering rig “well suited for catching pirates: weighing 284 tons with 34 cannons, oars and 150 men” (Source: Wikipedia). Just imagine this one in your living room!
  2. Charles Darwin and Captain Robert Fitzroy on the the HMS Beagle.
  3. Django Reinhardt in a gypsy camp.
  4. Matthew Flinders and George Bass charting the coastal inlets of Port Jackson in the little sailing boat Tom Thumb.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Weekly drawing: Week 9

Herbert would often wonder what his life would of been like if he never became a sales rep

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Publicity for The Lurkers album Padlock and Chain

The Lurkers CD launch poster on Regent St, Redfern
I recently had a lot of creative fun designing and illustrating The Lurkers the latest album Padlock and Chain. It was great working with like minded people. They’re great a mix of old time folk music, punk attitude and three part harmonies.

Album Launch Saturday, 17th September, The Red Rattler, Marrickville. Get tickets through The Sydney Fringe NSW.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hawthorne Canal Community Artwork Launch

On Friday last week, the Hawthorne Canal Tunnel mural was launched. It is part of the Greenway forming across Sydney from the Cooks River to Iron Cove. One side is covered in a giant community mural in artwork, co-created by artists, school children and other community members. On the other side is a "story wall" mural, which I was lucky enough to be asked by Leichhardt Council to put together. At 25 metres, this is the largest design I have ever created.

This is an amazing project which has come to fruition after five years of community work. I was just in on the last five weeks! Project heroes include:

The band from Kegworth PS & Jamie Parker MP

Every launch deserves a sausage sizzle!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Weekly Drawing: week 6

Barry was definitely not a morning person
We are currently in the process of moving house, so I'm a little preoccupied at the moment. When I find the time, I plan to colour Barry the Dugong illustration. With blues, greens and beams of light streaming down through the oceans surface.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Weekly drawing: week 4

 William Dampier and the chocolate drinking pirates 
Anchored off the Pearl islands the buccaneers would raid the mainland "to get coppers for each ship, having now so many men, our pots would not boil victuals fast enough, though they kept them boiling all day" They also plundered the sugar works to get extra sugar to cook up with their cocoa.

In 1587 cocoa drinking was a popular drink in the Spanish courts. English privateers and pirates captured a Spanish ship loaded with cocoa beans they dimissed the cargo as useless. However by 1650 cocoa drinking was becoming trendy with Londoners wanting to taste flavours of the New World.

This drawing was inspired after reading:
A pirate of exquiste mind: explorer, naturalist and buccaneer: The life of William Dampier
by Diana and Michael Preston

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Weekly drawing: week 3

Monkey Mermaid

Monkey mermaids
As Gondwanaland broke apart. Madagascar moved away from Africa. The suborder Haplorhini (monkeys, chimps, gorillas, and Homo sapiens) attempted to navigate the Mozambique Channel. Unfortunately many were terrible navigators forced to adapt to swimming the Indian Ocean indefinitely. Overtime the species evolved into Fish Monkeys. Commonly know as Monkey mermaids.

Friday, August 5, 2011

One night in Melbourne

Sounds crazy but it was a great way to get out of Sydney for the weekend. Leaving Sydney 7.00am Saturday morning and leaving Melbourne 8.45pm Sunday gave me the feeling of a full weekend away.

Long-Nosed Bandicoot spotted at Sydney Airport
My list of recomendations:
Degraves Espresso Bar baguette and coffee
City Basement books
Melbourne Open House Royal Exhibition building
Lord of the Fries I had a mini burger deal which was surprisingly perfect
The Roof top bar
The New International Bookshop
35 City Circle Free Tourist Tram
National Gallery of Victoria I have wished to see a Eugene von Guerard Exhibition for many years. Von Guerard was a colonial landscape painter, with a keen eye for the natural environment. Commissioned by many colonialists to paint their newly acquired properties. I love that he would often celebrate the original owners of the land. His work is a powerful celebration of Australia.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Weekly drawing: week 2

Henry had to be careful. He was easily over excitable.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Weekly drawing starts now

I have set myself a goal to draw a picture every week.  For the next 12 months I will upload 52 drawings.
I'm hoping this will make me draw faster ideas,  jot down silly ideas and make me do what I love.

This was inspired by Julie Powell's idea of setting a personal goal and personal deadline.

Frederick muses over his new diet of rolled oats and nuts.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A bedtime story for my daughter

The sun has gone to bed.
Beaneath the sparkling blanket of night and the beacon of the moon,
All the little children are in their warm beds.
Tokoeta, the Southern Brown Kiwis, are very shy.
When every baby has gone to sleep,
They can fossick through the seaweed on the tideline for tasty sandhoppers.